SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- A Sleepy Hollow church, which has the distinction of being the oldest standing church in New York, will be undergoing renovations beginning early next year.
Upgrades on the Old Dutch Church, most famous for being featured in Washington Irving’s classic tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” will take place from March to June.
Funds for the renovations are being raised during the venue’s Old Dutch Church Fest, held from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October, as well as on Halloween.
The event includes music, food, beverages, an ale house, souvenirs, tours of the church and burial ground, scavenger hunts and a retelling of Irving's story.
The Headless Horseman is appearing, as well.
Constructed in 1685 by the Philipse family, owners of nearby Philipsburg Manor, the church – along with its 2.5 acres of burial ground – is both the purported haunt of the horseman and the resting place of the local citizens who likely inspired Irving’s characters of Katrina Van Tassel, Brom Bones and others in his famous work.
While continuing to honor history, the upcoming renovations will be designed to ease access for disabled and elderly persons.
Amenities will include a more welcoming stairway to replace the uneven stones, a new wheelchair ramp, outdoor lighting, landscaping with native plants, restored historic metal and ornamental ironworks and an expanded landing at the threshold.
In addition, the church will purchase the property at 4 Dell St., also known as the William Smith Memorial Building, and convert it into classrooms for children, meeting rooms, a welcome center, a preparation space for brides and bathrooms.
For more information on the church, click here.